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Ebola Virus and HVAC Systems
With news of a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa, and fears that it has already spread to some areas of the United States, it would be prudent to warn anyone who may be concerned about their indoor air quality that there is currently no product that the HVAC industry offers that will reduce the spread of Ebola.
There are many excellent air filtration systems available, such as HEPA filtration units and Ultra Violet (UV) systems that kill mold, bacteria and odors, but they just have not yet made such a system that could kill off any disease that is transmitted by bodily fluids or by human contact.
A veteran’s administration hospital in Puerto Rico is ordering the emergency installation of multi hepa filters in the ward’s return air HVAC ducting to create an emergency Ebola quarantine ward.
This situation is considered an emergency and prompt attention is required. Delaying repair will create a situation where an outbreak of Ebola may happen to patient, guest or employees.
What they’re concerned about, is that there is going to be airborne Ebola in the ward, and the air ducts are going to suck it into the HVAC system and its going to spread it around to the rest of the hospital.
There are other experts who claim that HEPA filters are only good down to .3 micron sized particulates but the ebola virus is as small as .02 microns in size so it won’t really work.
So if you can’t be sure that you can entirely eliminate the virus from an HVAC system, what is the average person to do? At a minimum, avoid direct contact with infected people and incorporate regular hand washing using soap and water.
Additional information from the FDA… Unfortunately, during outbreak situations, fraudulent products claiming to prevent, treat or cure a disease almost always appear. The FDA monitors for fraudulent products and false product claims related to the Ebola virus and takes appropriate action to protect consumers.
•There are no approved treatments for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet.
•Experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments are in the early stages of product development, have not yet been fully tested for safety or effectiveness, and the supply is very limited. A claim that a product prevents, treats, or cures a disease requires prior approval by FDA.
•Consumers are warned to beware unapproved products sold online and in retail stores claiming to prevent or treat the Ebola virus and other conditions, such as cancer, autism, Parkinson’s and heart disease. Consumers who have seen these fraudulent products or false claims are encouraged to report them to the FDA.
Allergy symptoms can vary tremendously from person to person, allergen to allergen and place to place. In one person, the symptoms of allergies might be the typical sneezing, stuffy nose and runny eyes. Another person might suffer a general feeling of illness or malaise or stomach problems that they don’t understand are related to allergies. The human immune system is extremely complicated, and there are many different ways it can become disturbed and overreact to allergens. Getting your allergy symptoms under control can take months or even years.
If you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies then you should consider having your ducts cleaned, and especially, check out a HEPA filter.
These come in portable or whole-house systems that are attached right on your furnace, and can make an immediate improvement to your indoor air quality.
Allergies can be controlled and treated. So if you have any of these symptoms for more than a week you should seek the advice of a doctor. To learn more about the five most common allergy symptoms, take a look at the video below.
They do not mention anything about dust allergies specifically, but they do refer to and explain about the problems related to seasonal allergies, which can be just as bothersome. Some good advice regarding avoidance of allergy symptoms is provided.
It Has Been Confirmed
It has been confirmed. Breathing clean air makes you live longer!
If you want your air to be clean then you have to do two things:
1. Regularly clean your air duct systems. This includes all exhausts and fresh air intakes.
2. Regularly clean or replace your air filters.
These two items are crucial to breathing cleaner air in any building.
Call us for a free no-obligation estimate. Our pricing is reasonable and we provide a quality service.
We can help make your air noticeably cleaner starting today!
People on average, breathe about 25,000 times per day. We unconsciously breathe in toxic air comprised of bacteria, virus, pollen, house dust, tobacco and offensive smells.
Take a look at this interesting video we found, which is about a new kind of air cleaner. I’ve never actually seen anything like this, but isn’t this almost the same thing as a vaporizer? It looks like a mini space ship, and uses only water to clean the air. It looks cool and they say it does a great job but I think I’ll definitely stick with my Home Hepa Filtration System. It already has proven results. And you should see how much dust it takes out the air!
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) is the condition and content of interior air, especially with regards to how it affects health and safety of humans. The chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of the atmosphere inside of homes and in commercial and institutional buildings can be influenced in many ways.
Sometimes the effects on indoor air quality can be sufficient to cause people to experience significant discomfort, and in extreme cases to become physically ill.
Recent studies have proven that indoor air quality is generally worse than outside air quality.
If you would like to improve your indoor air quality, there are many options available. Professional duct cleaning and upgrading your air filtration systems are usually the first steps to be taken in the process. If these items are done properly, some people could notice amazing results.
When your furnace is running, air travels through the air ducts and is blown throughout the home or building. In these ducts, dirt, dust, pollen, dust mites, and other pollutants accumulate over time. As well, if the ducts become humid, there will eventually be significant growth of bacteria, mold, and other organisms. According to the USEPA, “the levels of some hazardous pollutants in indoor air have been found to be up to 70 times greater than in outdoor air.” People who have such conditions as allergies and bronchial problems such as asthma are susceptible to serious reactions. To keep the air in your home or businesses clean, one should have their air ducts cleaned at least once a year.
Please call us at (416) 293-1800 to schedule an appointment or to discuss your indoor air quality needs.
Take a look at this very informative video that explains alot of what you need to know about your indoor air quality (IAQ). The sound quality is not amazing but the video offers tons of excellent information.
What a Summer
HOT!!! Yeah no kidding. Here in Toronto it has been exceptionally hot this summer…but are we complaining? No Way!!
But is your air conditioner complaining? Maybe. Whenever you operate the air duct system for heating or cooling, the bottom of the Air Conditioning coil has a greater chance of clogging with dirt.
This can often cause your coil to freeze up and will definitely reduce your air flow down to almost nothing. Give us a call and we might be able to help you over the phone, and if not, then one of our friendly technicians will be happy to stop by and help with your cooling needs.
Here is a useful video that explains some ways of how to stay cool during our extremely hot summers.
Published on Jun 19, 2012
Toronto EMS Public Service Announcement, the dangers of hot weather and quick tips to stay safe.
What is so GREAT about an electrostatic air filter?
- Permanent – This filter is designed to last a lifetime. You should never have to replace it.
- High Efficiency – Designed to “eat” 95% of the dust and debris in your system.
- Washable – Easy to maintain. Wash or vacuum. Feel free to put this filter in your dishwasher to clean it. It can be cleaned 100’s of times without damaging any of the media inside.
- Resistance – Your HVAC system is able to draw air through this filter much easier than a disposable filter.
- Cost –This filter will easily pay for itself over and over. It will save you time and money. Never buy another filter.
- Sizes – They come in all standard sizes and can be custom made as well.
There are all types of air filters, and they have a huge range in both price and efficiency.
If you want the absolute best air filtration system you can have, then that would be an electronic air cleaner combined with a whole house HEPA system. And if you also add in an Ultra Violet light to the system too, then that’s killing it! There’s the best combination you can get right there!
I personally have that system minus the UV light but the wife is quite happy with that, and that’s all that matters, I guess. I’m not allergic or sensitive to dust anyway… I am an air duct cleaner so I am immune.
The best air filtration systems still need to be kept clean in order to do their jobs at peak efficiency.
The HEPA filter runs all the time, and that thing really pulls out alot of invisible dust from the air. You can see it on the prefilter when you open the case of the air cleaner.
The electronic air cleaner does a really nice job of keeping the furnace, the furnace blower and the air conditioning coil clean. But it also needs to be cleaned every once in a while too. The HEPA has obviously been helping to keep the prefilters of the electronic air cleaner clean, so that means I have to actually clean my cells less often. This is a good thing. I certainly don’t mind taking care of this for other people but it sure seems like such a chore when I have to do it at my own house.
This is why many people abandon their electronic air cleaner. I go into so many houses and see the electronic air cleaner cells sitting beside the furnace. What they’ve done is replaced the cells with either a 4″ disposable filter or with an electrostatic air cleaner. It is way easier and faster to clean one of those than it is to take care of the bulky cells.
An electro static air cleaner costs about $100 and is a permanent filter. It fits into a standard 1″ filter rack and comes in all standard sizes. It can also be sized to your furnace. If you ever move you can take it with you, if you remember.
Some Electrostatic air cleaners claim to remove up to 95% of the dust in the air but with my experience in the field I would say that is not true. 35% – 40% would be a much more accurate number. There are ways to manipulate the numbers, and here’s an example… let’s say an air filter is so full of dirt that almost no air can pass through it any more. All of a sudden, that means the filter is way more efficient at cleaning the air. You would definitely not put it back in your furnace in this condition but that just goes to show one way to play with the numbers.
The electro static filter is still much more efficient than a regular disposable one. To clean it you can either vacuum it or take it outside and hose it off using your garden hose and a strong spray. Just watch the air flow arrow on it though… if the air is meant to flow one way, start spraying it from the other side. That way you will not be pushing the dirt deeper into the filter.
If you would like to try out an electro static air filter, call our office for more details. We also have a service plan available where we will come to your home or office once every three months and replace your filter with a new one. This also gives us the opportunity to do a quick check on your furnace and advise you of any potential problems. Our customers who use this service find it quite valuable.
What Is Good Indoor Air Quality?
Good indoor air is characterized by the absence of contaminants of any kind, whether biological or chemical, in gaseous or particulate form. It should have no odour — though it is important to note that the reverse is not true — absence of an odour does not mean absence of contaminants. It should have no irritating or adverse health effect on occupants. It should have the right temperature and relative humdity for health and comfort of the occupants.
In 1979, the World Health Organization convened experts who recommended that guidelines be drawn up to protect the health of the occupants of homes.
City Duct Cleaning has over two decades of experience in this field including research on house performance, new house construction, renovations and mechanical systems. Members of our staff have also participated in numerous Indoor Air conferences.
There are a number of ways to improve your indoor air quality, and you can trust the experts at City Duct Cleaning Inc. for honest advice. We will always give you straight answers and we will never provide biased information based only on commercial interests.
Air duct cleaning in Toronto is our specialty of course, but there are also a number of clean air products available on the market. Some of them are really quite good, however, there are some products that we do not believe in ourselves for, practical reasons.
If you want straight answers regarding your indoor air quality concerns, talk to the experts at City Duct Cleaning.
Sources of Air Duct Contamination
All inside air was once outside air, so all of the dust, chemicals, pollen, insects and mold spores in the outside air can be pulled into your indoor air system. People shed millions of tiny dead skin cells every hour. Cooking smoke, cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays and personal care products are also additional sources of pollutants.
Many construction materials as well as carpets, wood products and plastics give off pollutants and odors as well. During construction or during renovations, many types of dust are also produced and they often find their way into the ductwork. This is especially true if the air handling system was on during any part of the renovation. Dust can find its way into your air system even though several precautions may have been taken to prevent this.
The solution is to have your air duct system(s) professionally cleaned. The most effective method of cleaning your ducts would be by using a truck-mounted vacuum system and compressed air. In some cases, mostly due to the accessibility of your duct system (or if it can be reached by a truck mounted unit), a portable vacuum system may be used. But the cleaning procedure must still include the use of high pressure compressed air, as it is the air pressure that does the most important part of the cleaning.
If moisture or water is present inside any part of your duct system then mold may also be an issue, and this should be inspected by a qualified professional immediately.
Air ducts and HVAC systems should be cleaned every two to four years. Your furnace should be cleaned at least once every two years as should your dryer exhaust vent ducts.
If you live in the Toronto area, call City Duct Cleaning for a thorough and very professional service. We have been the Consumers’ Choice in our field for several consecutive years.
You can reach us at (416) 293-1800.
Breaking The Sickness Cycle With Cleaner Air
The chances of catching a cold or other sickness from someone else in your home has never been greater. The reason is today’s homes have improved air sealing. While this is good from an energy conservation standpoint, the decrease in natural ventilation means contagions stay in the air longer, allowing them to spread.
A thorough air duct cleaning that includes the cleaning of your furnace fan and coil, combined with the installation of a high efficiency whole house air cleaning system (HEPA Air Cleaner) can greatly reduce the chances of getting sick by removing airborne contagions like bacteria and viruses.
What is HEPA?
The HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) or “absolute” filter is the most highly regarded mechanical filter. The HEPA filter is composed of a mixture of various sized borosilicate fibers, which are pressed together into sheets.
Who developed HEPA?
HEPA was developed during World War II and was initially used by the Atomic Energy Commission for filtering out radioactive dust and other airborne radioactive contaminants. HEPA filters are used today in a large number of medical, electronic and industrial applications where clean air is essential to the task or to the health of the patients or workers.
How efficient is HEPA?
HEPA filter media is proven to be 99.97% efficient @ 0.3 microns (about 1/25,000th of an inch). At larger sizes efficiency is even higher. Particles in this size range include pollen, household dust, smoke, bacteria, attached viruses, animal dander, mold spores and more.
Ultimate clean air
Combining our many years of duct cleaning expertise along with the installation of a quality whole house HEPA air system will greatly increase the indoor air quality in your home and the results will be noticeable almost immediately.
Call us today for further information or to schedule an appointment.